As I contemplate the world of dedicated PPC landing pages, and who doesn’t enjoy a good PPC daydream, I can’t help but think they’re a lot like beer. A million varieties but very few really good ones exist. But here’s the thing, if you simply know and do the things that create a great beer every time, you can’t help but put out a great product. The same is 100% true of a great landing page.
In the world of brewing the basic beer ingredients are grain, hops, yeast, and water. It’s the faulty combination of those ingredients as well as the wayward additions of other ingredients that often throws off the taste.
PPC landing pages are similarly simple at their core. It’s a page created to get your target audience take take an action by hitting the right triggers. That’s it.
Now, I’m no expert when it comes to brewing beer, but it turns out I do know a bit about landing pages. In this post I’ll cover the basic recipe for a great dedicated PPC landing page. And we’ll hone in on scenarios where a singular call-to-action makes sense.
Keep the focus on One product or service
Henry David Thoreau once said “ Our lives are frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.” I didn’t pick that quote because my last name sounds similar to “frittered”… really, I swear.
Too many companies try and throw approximately 27 calls-to-action onto each of their dedicated landing pages. A lot of times this comes from selecting CTAs by committee with different interests, or trying to offer every path because you don’t know where the user is in their relationship with your company. Ends up looking like a strobe-light Bat Signal on a high speed disco ball. Plenty going on to catch the eye, but may cause seizures and certainly won’t cause conversions.
In seriousness, not directly showing a possible customer what specific action you want them to take is a bad move. Complicating the process will only equate to confused people dropping off the page in droves.
Only use 1 call-to-action per page. Don’t link elsewhere or mention other products or services. It’s a simple formula, really – the easier the conversion process the lower the bounce rate.
Most people don’t want to spend time being wooed by the deepest nuances of your product or service. They want to know what you’re going to do to help them out. How are you going to save that person time, money, or even make them look good in the eyes of their bosses?
In short, what’s the value proposition? Don’t waste time trying to prove yourself. Be up front and crystal clear about how you’re going to make life a little bit better for that person.
If you have any relevant statistics (% time saved, revenue increase averages, etc.) supporting your call-to-action is a great idea. Clearly highlight impressive figures towards the top of the landing page, which will almost always help with your conversion rate. If the proof-is-in-the-pudding, why wouldn’t you give a little taste?
Here’s a great example from LastPass: “Bank Level Security”
Use visuals and images wisely
Let’s go back to the beer example. You know what a lot of bad landing pages and bad beers have in common? They settle for generic and boring ingredients.
A ridiculous number of landing pages out there make liberal use of stock images holding little to no significance towards the product or service being offered. That’s a great strategy if you want to have the same vanilla look the competition is utilizing.
A great landing page should feature a unique image, video or graphic, that actually complements or reinforces the message and call-to-action. Taking the time to do a quality job of image selection and treatment will help solidify a potential customer’s experience, and make you that much more likely to win them over with a conversion.
The following is a great example of what not to do:
Keep your sign-up form short but not too short
Asking for an abundance of information up front? I get it. Sales teams love to have detailed prospect info before going into sales discussions. We’d all be thrilled if every prospect was so enamored with our business that they’d write out their hopes, dreams, and last three performance reviews in the comments section.
The problem on the customer side is that the more form fields you add the more daunting the conversion process looks to a prospect. Facing a lengthy form just to gain information about whether your product or service might be the right fit will invariably result in people bouncing from the page at a higher-than-comfortable rate.
Disclaimer, there’s absolutely such a thing as asking for too little info. If you only ask for an email address, don’t bother to us a captcha form, and throw an offer up on a high traffic page, you’ll be sifting through a small mountain of spam, with no way to sort the good from the bad.
So, what’s the happy medium? As a rule: include only fields that are necessary for a potential lead to advance to the next step in your funnel. No more, no less. In some cases, that’ll be as little as a name and a valid email. Depending on the context, you might have to get a company name and a phone number as well. Again, ask people for what’s essential and nothing more.
As much as we hate to generalize: when in doubt, limit the form to just name and email fields:
Don’t bore your prospects
For short-form landing pages brevity is essential. People are busy, so be succinct with your sentences and use bulleted lists wherever it makes sense, rather than writing out paragraphs.
For long-form landing pages make sure you’re telling a very engaging story that a user will easily be able to follow at skimming speed. If your copy is mundane or the story lacks cohesion people will get bored and drop off.
Add some proof of your awesomeness
It’s sadly hard to take a business at their word these days. Some businesses are more than willing to bend the truth to attract customers, which frankly ruins legitimate prospecting efforts for the rest of us. (Sorry, side rant over.)
So, to help bypass a prospect’s initial concerns and skepticism, why not highlight your service or product through the words of your current customers? Adding customer quotes (ideally from a well-known brand, or a representative cross-section of your market) can speak louder than even the most brilliantly crafted marketing copy. This builds a level of trust in a potential client’s mind, that’s hard to come by any other way before a sale.
If getting full customer quotes or testimonials is a major challenge, don’t give up on this. You can still throw in customer logos for the proof-in-the-pudding effect. For extra credit you can even do both. DocuSign does a great job of this.
If you have a dedicated landing page that keeps the call-to-action simple, is direct, proves your product or service to be useful, and is credible, you’ve put your company in a great position to drive quality leads.
And remember, it’s never set-it-and-forget-it with landing pages. A master brewer would never mass produce their first draft (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk) without gauging reactions. And of course neither will you, right?
Happy landing page creation! Now, who’s thirsty?